Conferences & lectures

A diabolical crime

Sexual violence in Ireland from the 1830s to 1914

Thursday, May 30, 2019
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Joanna Bourke, professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London


This event is free


John Molson Building
1450 Guy
Room Conference Centre



Sexual violence is an essentially contested concept. Exploring the competing meanings of violence presents formidable challenges, which increases in difficulty when we wander back in time. What do we find when we explore the different meanings attached to sexual violence in 19th and early 20th century Irish history? How did conceptions of such forms of violence change?

About Joanna Bourke

Joanna Bourke is a professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a fellow of the British Academy. She is the prize-winning author of 13 books that examine histories of Ireland, modern warfare, military medicine, psychology and psychiatry, violence and emotions, and rape, as well as more than 100 articles in academic journals.

In 2014, Bourke published The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers (Oxford University Press) and Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-Play Invade our Lives (Virago). Her books are also available in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish and Greek. Bourke is the principal investigator on a five-year Wellcome Trust-funded project entitled "Sexual Violence, Medicine, and Psychiatry."

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